Using an android emulator is a great way to access Android apps on your computer. Many use an emulator for gaming, to be able to use their keyboard, mouse or game controller. You can also run other types of Android apps as well. With so many emulators to choose from, in this top list, I will tell you top 5 best free Android emulators for your Windows PC & Mac. We look at the features available, stability, ease of use and the overall user experience to determine the best.
Its main focus is gaming. It allows you to record your gameplay and upload it wherever you want it. It also allows for key mapping to emulate a controller with your keyboard. When you first launch Ko Player, it will ask which mode you want, to maximize game performance, Select speed mode. If you’ve run into any issues after starting KoPlayer, you can switch to compatible mode later on in settings. Along the Left You have several options at the top, selecting the keyboard icon will let you edit the keys for your keyboard. If you’re using a game controller, you can activate it and map it to your preferred layout. To switch from landscape to portrait mode, select the rotate screen icon. You’ll also find other options for taking screenshots, recording and site loading apks. Like many of the Android
emulators, you have full access to the Google Play Store to install apps. Just use caution like you would on your phone or tablet when choosing which apps to install. Unfortunately, on the home screen, the app icons can’t be moved. Ko Player is completely free but like most emulators, you’ll have to deal with the occasional ads.
4. MEmu Play
Unlike Ko Player, which is based on Android KitKat, MEmu software supports apps up to Android lollipop 5.1. It supports multiple instances to run multiple apps simultaneously, along with support for a mouse, keyboard, and gamepad. In MEmu, all the familiar options show up on the right side of the player. To create multiple instances of the MEmu player for multitasking purposes, select the multi MEmu icon in the lower right and click on create. You can pick either Android 5.1 or 4.4. 5.1 is newer, so most times you’ll select that one. Then click on start and it will open a new window for MEmu, so you can work on more than one task at a time. MEmu play is free to use and continues to improve with each new update.
It is the best-known android emulator and was recently updated to Android nougat. It has keyboard, mouse and gamepad support along with the ability to run multiple apps side-by-side. This emulator targets gamers. There is App Center which lists recommended apps along with popular, top grossing and trending in the right pane. Along the top, you can access my apps, which will show apps that you have installed. If you need assistance, you can go to the Help Center and to the right of the Help Center is Pika World, which is there in platform reward currency system, where you can redeem points for physical and digital
goods, in-app purchases and can be used to update skins. I personally find Pika world to be more of a nuisance with its constant notifications. In my apps, the tabbed interface is a cool feature. When opening an app, it opens in a new tab that makes it easy to run multiple apps at the same time. Compared to most emulators BlueStacks is bloated, so it may not run smoothly if you have a PC with lower system specs or an older computer. Anyone can use BlueStacks for free with no limits, but they do charge a fee to remove the ads which vary depending on your region.
It is another popular Android emulator that’s been around for many years and was also updated recently to Android nougat. It has a ton of features including being able to use your phone as a controller. I’ll caution you right now when installing Andy, that has a history of setting off antivirus or malware security software. At this time Andy and the others mentioned in this article, are completely safe to use. As usual, just be careful when installing apps into the emulators that you only choose the apps that you trust. Andy more closely resembles Android with a cleaner looking user interface than the others mentioned with less clutter. Holding down the left click on your mouse while in the window will bring up the options to change your wallpaper, add widgets and go into your settings. In the home screen, you had the familiar looking app drawer which shows you the apps that you have installed. Quite simply if you’ve ever used an Android device before, this just may be the easiest Android emulator that you’ll ever use. Andy is completely free for personal use. If you run a business they do have a pro version with plans starting at $12 per month.
Quite frankly it was a toss-up between Andy and Nox for the number one spot. Even though Nox Player only has compatibility up to lollipop 5.1, I found it perform better than most of the other emulators when gaming, while including most of the same features. Nox player has all the usual features that can be selected from the right side including shake, keyboard control, a multi-instance manager, a recorder, screenshot tool and many others. In addition, you can change the theme by selecting the icon that looks like a t-shirt at the top. There may be times when an app requires that your device be rooted, in Nox player routing is easy. Select settings and check the box next to root and save your settings. You’ll need to restart NoxPlayer for the change to take effect. Nox player is completely free. Just like Andy and BlueStacks, it’s also available for Mac OS.
If you use any other Android emulator that is not mentioned here and you think others should try out, let me know in the comments below.